Sustainable Cooks
First Time Visiting? Start Here!

Scattered Sundays

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Pheeeeeeew. Slow news week, right? Oh boy. How are you guys doing/holding up? How is life? Tell me all about it. Do you have toilet paper?

I have received many emails/DMs on Instagram/messages on Facebook asking how to stock two weeks’ worth of food for people who don’t can or have a garden. My friends, I’m honored that you trust me to help you with this. And help you I will. I’ve been training my whole nerdy adult life for this. 🙂

First and foremost, don’t buy stuff you don’t need/won’t eat! Depending on where your mindset is right now, chances are you may want comfort food. Try your best to aim for healthy comfort food (which, ahem is exactly what I share on this blog!), especially if being home means not moving/working out as much.

Check out these posts on our Pantry Essentials and this one on Freezer Essentials. Use it as a jumping-off point, tailoring it to what your family likes and needs. Make a list of what you already have and start from there. Oh, and remember that you can totally roast frozen vegetables. That keeps us all in veggies without filling the crisper with things that may go bad.

Some of our favorite online ordering options are:

Maybe it’s just me, but when things get scary, acts of service are always the way to calm my brain. Call your neighbors and check on them. Don’t know your neighbors? Now is a great time to introduce yourself (with an air high-five)!

I’m always nervous for small business owners during these events. If you have the means, buy a gift card to a favorite local place NOW to help their cash flow to account for people reducing their spending. Find out what your local school district’s plan is for feeding the kids who rely on free and reduced lunch. Offer to help. Let’s take care of each other.

Jack’s school is now closed for six weeks. As of now, Bennett’s preschool is still open but I’m sure it is only a matter of time. My brain is not letting me think about working with them both home for 6 weeks, especially when all these sick males have already screwed up my work schedule for the last SEVEN weeks. 

Everything is still in flux with Jack’s schooling. They were sent home with a packet on Friday with the instructions that they should complete it. Because of parity, none of the coursework can be new, mandatory, or count against their grades. We have many many rural families who don’t have computers let alone access to the internet.

I don’t think Bennett’s school will be providing us with any curriculum (“practice not picking your nose for 3x a day”?). I honestly don’t know what is happening, but I do sincerely regret the fact that I don’t drink.

“I want to do the acid and base thing mom”. Love that my 4 yr old is interested in acid…

I did a poll on Facebook asking how I can support you during this time. The idea of a freezer/pantry cleanout was still very popular. There were other requests that simply aren’t feasible or in my wheelhouse.

I worked super hard over the last two weeks to get ahead of the game and was feeling pretty confident about the rest of spring. Now…that’s all kind of wonky.

On one hand, I really do want to help meet current needs. On the other hand, I simply can’t pivot everything and just create new content out of thin air. When you see a post on the blog, over 30 hours of research, testing, photographing, and work has gone into it to make sure it is right. I have a post coming out in a week that I am super proud of and have been working on for well over a year ago. 

Busting out new posts simply because it seems popular without knowing that it is tested is not something I can get behind. Especially now that I no longer have three full-time workdays a week without kids at home. Until this week, I had been photographing three recipes a week and that is five straight hours of super constant work and movement. And that’s a hard-pressed day when I’m alone.

If you’re really interested in getting your prep on right now without waiting for me, Once a Month Meals is offering a free download of 20 recipes you can prep for the slow cooker or Instant Pot in one hour. You can snag yours here.

So, I ask for patience over the next few weeks. We’re all in new territory with this ish. I heard a comment this week that said “now is the time to pass out grace like candy”. Amen.

I bought Bennett some of this art paper to help keep him occupied. And by the time six weeks is up, I may use it to build myself a fort outside and I will live there forever. In silence.

Two weeks ago I had downloaded a “Couch to 5k” app to start building some stamina with running. And then all three boys were sick and things got pushed aside. So now we’re doing it together as a family. Poor Jack has to work hard to not just keep running when we’re at the “walk stage”. Bennett is livid that he has to be in the stroller but his righteous fury doesn’t stop the fact that he’s too little/dumb to not run into traffic along our route.

Why is it the kid who didn’t have to exercise at all is the grumpy one?

Should we change topics? Yes? Something funny? Ok! This is a long story but you need to know all the details to understand why I still snort every time I think about this memory.

When I was in third grade, I bought a birdcage with a stuffed bird in it from my neighbor’s garage sale. I really wanted a pet that wasn’t a dog or a cat and this little stuffed bird became my buddy. Eventually, my dad got worried about my sanity and took me to a pet store to buy a gerbil.

We brought (it) home and I named (it) Pippy. After a few weeks, we really wanted to know if Pippy was a boy or a girl. I was like nine and my sister was in sixth grade, and let’s just say neither of us were specialists in determining animal gender.

Given that sixth grade used to be when sex ed started, along with kids being dumb and talking about things on the playground that they don’t understand, my sister totally had the answer to our gerbil gender determination dilemma.

If you have ever had a gerbil, you know that you can safely pick them up by the base of their tails. I need you to know this so that you can picture what my dad saw as he rounded the corner of the hallway to see Pippy, upside-down being held by its tail while my sister had a hairdryer on low aimed at my gerbil’s junk.

(please note, I am laughing so hard I am crying right now writing this) My dad bellowed “what in the hell are you doing”??? To which my sister said that kids at school had told her that if a boy gets hot, their “things” get bigger. So naturally, we just needed to get the gerbil hot (with a hairdryer) to determine if it was a male or female. Duh. Basic science.

My friends, that right there is the case for not only sex ed, but biology being taught accurately to our children. 

Here’s my promise to you. During the next few weeks/months, when things seem scary and big and uncertain, simply think of “gerbil crotch” and I guarantee you’re going to find a way to smile.

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Brenda left this five-star review on our Fried Cabbage and Bacon {Pin this recipe}:

This was amazing!  I thought it sounded great, but my husband had concerns – he doesn’t like onions. He said he didn’t even notice the onions and he kept going back for more!  I will definitely make this again and again. Thanks!

an overherad photo of fried cabbage with bacon in a skillet

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

How to Segment an Orange and Other CitrusLearn how easy it is to segment an orange in this step by step tutorial. You too can make gorgeous clean-cut wedges of delicious citrus to use in salads, desserts, and snacks. {Pin this tutorial}

a bowl of segmented citrus with minced mint

DIY Garden TrellisLearn how easy it is to build an affordable and easy DIY Trellis for your fruit, vegetable, or flower garden. Simple cattle panels create strong and long-lasting garden trellis archways that you can use year after year. {Pin this recipe}

A DIY trellis covered in green bean vines

Air Fryer Pizza RollsDitch the storebought snacks and make your own Air Fryer Pizza Rolls at home! Baked, not fried, these pizza rolls are ready in only 8 minutes and can be frozen for a quick snack. You’ll also find oven-baking and skillet instructions in the recipe card. {Pin this recipe}

A pizza egg roll being dipped into a small bowl of marinara sauce

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

My Virgin Mojito is #1 again, so let’s take a look at the other top recipes.

  1. Air Fryer Egg Rolls (non-air fryer instructions are included)  {Pin this recipe}
  2. Air Fryer Pickles (non-air fryer instructions are included)  {Pin this recipe}
  3. Instant Pot Beef Tips (non-Instant Pot instructions are included)  {Pin this recipe}
  4. Instant Pot Matzo Ball Soup (non-Instant Pot instructions are included)  {Pin this recipe}
  5. Instant Pot Garlic Parmesan Rice (non-Instant Pot instructions are included)  {Pin this recipe}

Meal Plan

Monday:: Whole30 Beef Stew (I meant to make this a week ago but it never happened) and salad.

Tuesday:: Bacon and Egg Rolls, aka “fancy breakfast dinner” + fruit + salad for us and cut up veggies for the boys.

Wednesday:: A new recipes I’m working on (hopefully)

Thursday:: Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana (Jack’s request)

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night

Saturday:: Another new recipe I’m working on and photographing (hopefully)

Sunday:: WHO KNOWS because I may have taken a lit match to my house and walked away.


What Are You Having This Week?


As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post contains affiliate links and we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you if you click through and make a purchase.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

43 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. I gave CPR to a young pet rat who ended up in the toilet (the only funny part of the story). It lived and was a pretty cool pet.

  2. This has honestly been the weirdest week of all time. I work for the police (in an admin capacity) and we get practically hourly updates from the chief, mayor, city council, county, and anyone else who has an interest in talking about the situation. It’s overwhelming…currently I’m still going to be going in to work. Which I prefer – for one thing, it’s really hard to do my job from home, and for another, at least at work I know there is toilet paper! 🙂 I had bought one of my normal packs of TP right before everyone went into crisis mode, so while I wish that I could get some now simply because I’m worried there will never be any to buy ever again, we are at least ok for the moment – and both my mom & my MIL have assured me they “have a square to spare” (Seinfeld reference, anyone, anyone?) should we run out.
    What really kills me is that people at work legit have come into our office and asked if we could please purchase some hand sanitizer…it takes everything we have to say no without ripping anyone’s heads off. First off, have you watched the news, or been living in a hole the last month? Sure, let me pull some sanitzer out of my butt like magic….sorry. Like someone else said, somehow this turns into a Confessions post!
    I don’t have kids but I absolutely feel for those who do, and who suddenly have no idea what they’re going to do if the kids aren’t old enough to stay home on their own. It pisses me off no end to see people commenting on news stories about it that “people knew what they were getting into when they had kids” and “that’s how it goes, they just have to stay home” Oh, are you going to pay their bills for them? SMH, maybe we try a little compassion and see where that gets us in life.

    • I totally got the Seinfeld reference!!

      People knew what they were getting into when they were having kids, but nobody knew that this was coming down the line!!!

      • Ok, so can I also compliment you on working from home full time? Today was my first day of telecommuting, and I gotta tell ya – I didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected! I think I need some separation between work and home…I’m staying home tomorrow too, and originally thought I’d work from home Friday too but…I’m going into the office. There should be very few people there and the commute will be a breeze.

        Crazy times…rumor has it the mayor is considering a shelter in place order like they did in Cali. I would rather they just do it instead of waffling back and forth about if they will or not…arg

      • Haha, I’ll tell you it took me a solid 18 months before working from home seemed normal and I found the right flow. Heck, I’m STILL working on it!

        I agree – all the rumors and going back and forth isn’t helping. Rip the band-aid off and let’s get done with it.

  3. Husband must be comfort food buying during this trying time.  I am currently looking at a can of easy cheese! 😝

  4. I laughed so hard at the gerbil story I’m surprised my fam didn’t come check on me. Grandson’s school closed till after Easter. They will have a drive thru lunch and breakfast for next day for any child under 18. The child(ren) need to be in car with you. The program is 11:30-12:30 M-F. Our grocery outlet did a fb video this am explaining they are out of tp, have water with limit of two, and rest of the store is pretty well stocked. Delivery tomorrow. This is North California.

    • HA, so glad I could share this story with you!!

      Our district is doing pick up locations throughout the district, but I’m not 100% sure of the details.

  5. This is the time when I wish I’d executed on the extra freezer in the garage!  Freezer is beyond full but I know it doesn’t have enough veggies to keep me happy for two+ weeks.  Best of luck not murdering the small peoples

  6. You always make me smile 

  7. My kids are off for three weeks so far. The schools will reassess at that point. They did send all of my daughters books and her chrome book home because they want the children to continue their actual studies. So I’m not worried about the second grader… my kindergartener has a packet, but depending on if the other kiddo needs help, I found some things my K can do on my laptop. Or I might print him another packet because he started writing letters backward all of a sudden. I did hit up the library Friday before those were officially closed. I stocked my kiddos up for awhile. I think this will easier for me, as we homeschooled previously. I kind of learned how to work while the kids work. And timing, it’s all about timing. We have some toilet paper, but I didn’t panic buy like everyone else. I have a cloth diaper sprayer that we can use and cloth baby wipes if we need to. Thank goodness I kept the cloth diapers for this new baby. I am using what’s left of our disposable diapers at night only so I’m not changing a diaper 5x a night. 

    I have gone into “absolutely no waste” mode and have been trying to find ways to use things I normally trash. Like the butt of the bread, carrot tops, etc. (Thanks for sharing that carrot top pesto recipe! I can’t wait!) My kids only eat the yolk of the eggs and we feed the whites to the cats. And anything else leftover from breakfast like toast or sausage. I usually save veggie scraps for broth but I would like to see if we can make food, we may need to. 

    We are officially supposed to “social distance” ourselves and not go to anything inside. Cue my husband “I’m going to go the gym.” I think it may be the worst idea ever… “it’s only effecting elderly and elderly aren’t out at the gym.” Naturally I checked to make sure the life insurance would pay in a pandemic, and it does since it’s been in force awhile… so, see ya babe! Have a great workout. I am so tired of trying to get him to take this more seriously. Ugh.
    This was supposed to be a comment, but apparently it’s turned into “Confessions”. 🤷🏼‍♀️


    • From what I hear from my friends in administration at the school district, plan on it being longer than 3 weeks. Hope for less but plan for more. Nice they have Chromebooks!

      We totally have the diaper sprayer too and Troy and I were talking about that a few days ago! Will be very very cold water but it will get the job done. We gave all the cloth wipes away to my cousin when Bennett was out of diapers. But we always have a huge stash of TP in the house. It’s how I was raised.

      Ugh, don’t get me started on the gym!!! I hope he doesn’t go. Troy’s gym is horrifyingly gross on a good day, but it’s the closest to our house so he keeps going. I told him to spend the $3 to download the couch to 5k app and just do that.

    • Our local rec center (where we run) closed down for three weeks. Of course the local LA Fitness is still up and running and the parking lot is full *shudder*

  8. We thankfully do have toilet paper–though we wouldn’t if it wasn’t for my wonderful husband bulk buying a few weeks ago. I wish I hadn’t told him two weeks ago that we were “okay” on TP when we were at the grocery store, we could have stocked up then a little more. Water, toilet paper, kleenex, rubbing alcohol, and laundry detergent with bleach were all gone at our store yesterday. Also tortillas, salsa, and taco kits were all really cleared out..I guess people want to have taco parties while in quarantine?

    I am currently really mad because I’ve read a lot of the unavailability of sanitizer, et cetera, is because of people buying it all up at the beginning of March with the intention of selling it for high prices on Amazon–before Amazon cracked down on that, and now these jerks are sitting on a lot of stock they can’t sell…ugh. Not that I’m a crazy sanitizer fan, I’ve been harping on the kids to wash their hands, but geez!

    • I found that stores are fully stocked if you get there when they first open. I’m sure things will calm down soon and everyone can get exactly what they need.

      Perhaps solo taco parties?

      Terrible about the sanitizer and other for profit hoarding! My sister got to Costco the other day to see someone buying all the dog food her dogs eat. She’s convinced he’s going to sell it on Facebook at 1.5x the cost.

      • Yep, we’re approaching this like we did when there was a huge windstorm here (the tail end of a hurricane that reached up to the Midwest). No power for a week, and stores were ransacked for water. We were on a well, and without power, no water. We went early to stores, got what we could get. I was kind of bemused to see the different, random things that were scarce. Yogurt was fine. I saw a well-dressed lady walking by with her arms full of Ramen. There were two women in the Latin foods aisle, blocking the entire thing, complaining that their favorite salsa wasn’t there. It was weird, but we got everything we needed (aside from water and toilet paper, ha!) Our store is reducing its hours so it has time to clean and restock, and good for them, I say.

  9. Our school district isn’t closing school yet but several in our state have started. We have a ton of low income kids. Our district plans on still feeding lunch to them if/when they close schools but haven’t said how. Our main internet provider is offering free internet to families that don’t have it for the time being so their kids can keep up with online lessons if their school closes. I work at Walmart and we’re just trying to not get fired for snapping at another rude customer

    • I feel like it is only a matter of time before everyone is closed, at least for a few weeks. Honestly, I think 6 weeks is excessive. Plan for 3-4 weeks and then reassess. If we have to stay longer, we stay longer.

      Here, lunch seems to be at pick up locations in the district. We have very low income and rural kids so I’m worried about access for them to all get there to even pick it up.

      Internet here is doing the same thing, but many of these families live down 3-4 mile dirt roads and aren’t even wired for internet.

  10. Your pantry and freezer essentials have been my go-to for a while now. I wasn’t panic buying because my house was already stocked. Thanks, as always, Sarah!

    • Awww, so glad I could help! One thing I have heard from GF friends is that a lot of their foods are still available because no one else wants them. Have you found that with Ivan’s stuff?